VLADIKAVKAZ, Russia — One man reported missing after a devastating avalanche in southern Russia was found unharmed Monday, but more than 100 people remained lost and authorities feared that the number could rise.
Two bodies were recovered Monday in the immediate vicinity of the avalanche, bringing the number of those found to eight, a duty officer at the headquarters for the rescue effort said. Emergency officials have said they feared that as many as 150 people were killed in Friday's avalanche.
"I haven't lost hope, but when I saw from a helicopter what had happened, the conclusions are not comforting," said Lev Dzugayev, the top aide to the president of North Ossetia, a small republic in the mountains near the Georgian border where the disaster occurred.
The avalanche happened when a chunk of glacier about 500 feet high broke off from beneath a mountain peak and roared down two gorges at more than 62 mph, uprooting trees and accumulating mud and rocks as it went.